What you need to know about protecting your home and family from wildfires - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What you need to know about protecting your home and family from wildfires

SPOKANE, Wash.- The recent wildfires in Florida and the events last year in Southern California should serve as examples to homeowners about properly preparing for fire season.  More than 200 homes in Florida and over 2,000 in Southern California were damaged or destroyed in the fires.  One Florida official stated that a home with defensible space and a clean roof had a less than one percent chance of igniting while an unprepared home had an almost twenty-five percent chance of igniting.  Give yourself and your family a better chance of escaping harm during a wildfire by taking as many precautions as possible.

Below are some basic preparedness questions, compiled by the Office of the State Fire Marshal to think about this fire season:

  • Are you familiar with your community's disaster-preparedness plans and have your created a family plan?  Do you have plans to care for your pets in case of an evacuation?  Do you know where the closest police, fire and emergency medical facilities are located?
  • Have you planned different escape routes from your home and neighborhood and designated an emergency meeting place for the family to meet?  Is there an established contact point to communicate with concerned relatives?
  • Have you put together an emergency kit? It should include the following:  at least a three-day supply of drinking water and food that needs no refrigeration or cooking; a portable NOAA weather radio; first aid supplies and medications; basic tools, such as a wrench, a flashlight and gloves; portable lanterns and batteries; credit cards and cash; and important documents, including insurance policies.
  • Do you know who to call to report a wildfire? Dial 9-1-1 and be prepared to give the following information:  your name and phone number; your address; the location/direction of the fire; if you know how it started and how big it is; and color of the smoke.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State's firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.

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